Today, invasive animals and plants spread all around the globe. Predicting the dynamics of these invasions is of great ecological and socio-economical interest. Yet studying them is fundamentally challenging because of the large spatial and temporal scales involved. Scientists at Eawag and University of Zurich are now using computer simulations and small artificial laboratory worlds, to study how rapid evolution makes invaders spread even faster.
At the World Water Forum in the South Korean city of Gyeongbuk, the participating countries have today adopted a declaration defining political priorities for the efficient use of water, a resource that is in short supply. Switzerland, which has also adopted the declaration and was heavily involved in drafting it, will be lobbying during the World Water Forum to get the responsible use of water resources included on the agenda for sustainable development after 2015 (post-2015 agenda).
4th generation halogenated coolants and foaming agents have only been in use for a few years. They have replaced persistent greenhouse gases such as R134a, which were used in (car) air conditioning units, refrigerators and in a variety of foams. Empa researchers have now published first measurements on the atmospheric distribution and abundance of these new substances. They show that the new coolants are frequently used in Europe - and that their use is increasing.
Following days of negotiations, the delegations at the Third UN World Conference on Disaster Reduction (WCDRR) in Sendai, Japan, have adopted a new international framework, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction (2015–2030), which sets out the priorities for disaster risk reduction for the next 15 years. Manuel Bessler, the delegate of the Federal Council for Swiss Humanitarian Aid and head of the Swiss delegation in Sendai, welcomed the new framework, which will give new impetus to the world in the field of disaster prevention.
An international research team led by Eawag, Bern University and the Bern Natural History Museum has shed light on the depths of alpine and prealpine lakes. In “Projet Lac”, fish populations – such as those in Lake Sils (Silsersee) and Lago di Poschiavo – have been surveyed more systematically than ever before.